When you are an artist and have a wide variety of interest in subject matter, sometimes it is hard to stay focused. Everyday I see subjects I’d love to paint, especially now that we live in beautiful, historic Charleston. I’m working on building up a body of work of Charleston scenes that show well together, that will hopefully be identifiable as a “Beebe”(consistent in style), and will help identify me as a Charleston painter.
This is important for several reasons. Galleries, generally speaking, look to represent artists that they can count on to provide them with a consistent body of work. One of my goals is to eventually be represented by a couple of galleries in the Charleston area.
Even though I’m new to town, I want to establish myself as a “local” painter. A perfect example of a “local” painter would be my cousin/artist Brian Sweetland. He lived in Vermont and painted Vermont scenes. His art captured Vermont’s beautiful countryside, the working farms, cows, tractors, anything “Vermont”. Whenever I see a photograph of anything Vermont I think of my cousin Brian and his art.
He didn’t restrict himself to just Vermont scenes, for he was also an excellent portrait and still life painter. He could paint anything and do it masterfully, but a retrospective of his work was overwhelmingly about Vermont.
Brian spent his entire professional career building up a large body of work with a consistency of style and subject matter, becoming one of the best at what he painted.
When we moved to Maine I had the same goal. I wanted to, and did, paint everything Maine. Lighthouses, lobsterboats, schooners, sailboats, and working harbors were all inspiring subjects to paint. Even though we only lived in Maine for 12 years, I eventually was recognized as one of the “local” artists and was represented by a couple of galleries in town.
Fortunately Charleston (and its surrounding areas) provides a wide range of subject matter to paint. I feel I have so much to choose from while still building up a consistent body of work. For instance, I’m starting my Charleston series of paintings by painting historic churches, colorful Rainbow Row, and charming historic homes with window boxes.
I’m currently finishing up a painting of an historic white home along Meeting Street with overflowing window boxes, wrought iron balconies, and an American Flag. The home is heavily shaded but strong sunlight is filtering through the blooming crepe myrtles. An arched iron gate and a moss covered brick wall create a little mystery as to what life is like on the other side.
Paintings of window boxes, arched gates, secret gardens, horse drawn carriages, marshlands with wading birds, and shrimp boats are all possible paintings in the pipeline that would show well together. I have images of each in mind that I can’t wait to paint.
I am also excited about having added to the Charleston collection two new giclée reproduction prints.
Thank you for following my art and my journal. I hope you’ll check back soon to see what’s on the easel. I hope y’all had a Happy Thanksgiving and have a very Merry Christmas!!!